We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathan Christ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathan, how do you think about risk?
Much of the stories I’ve sought out have been risky, and have taken me around the world. Historically my projects involve musicians and music cities, from Bamako, Mali, to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Making films about music communities requires a lot of trust. I’ve had to put myself out on a limb on many occasions while chasing down a story, and sometimes that can go south, or not yield the results I want. This can lead to a lot of heartache but, when you get it right, it’s so gratifying.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a storyteller with a passion for pushing society forward by documenting the frontiers of the arts, technology, and social justice.
My feature documentary Echotone, about the rapidly changing musical landscape of Austin, TX, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and called “an aural symphony of civic discord” by the Chicago Sun-Times. I’m fueled by music, but have always returned to the subject of how music communities grind up against and grow with the cities that forge them. I’ve always been comfortable throwing myself into a throng of people at a basement show in order to get the shot I want.
Since this project, I directed a VR music series about Austin City Limits, produced by Google, and have been the creative producer on the upcoming Lollapalooza docuseries. Lolla has taken me to some wild places at its various international locations. My favorite moment of the latter was interviewing the absolute legend Caetano Veloso and his sons in a tent in Santiago, Chile.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wow… I don’t think I’ve fully taken stock of what has survived post-pandemic, but here are my happy places before the plague:
I would take them to eat at the following (in no order): Mariscos Jaliscos, Cole’s, Cacao Mexicatessen, Gueleguetza, and Dune
I would go to a show at the Regent in DTLA.
I would see a show either at the American Cinematheque or Vista (I still refuse to believe the Arclight is gone).
We’d go hiking at Charmlee in Malibu and, if there’s time, go to a secret spot I know in Joshua Tree.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to the City of Angels boxing Gym (@cityofangelsbox). While they aren’t directly related to my career as a filmmaker, this homegrown family business transformed my sense of fitness, community, and health (which of course creates a positive waterfall in my professional life). When they announced they were closing at the start of the pandemic and moving back to Costa Rica, the entire community was gutted. Since then, the owner Alex Brenes has been teaching remote classes, and its been truly inspiring to see their positivity and resilience through this unthinkable situation. I hope they can find a path back to LA so we can all get back to putting in work!
NC Projects Featured Credits: Father John Misty, Run the Jewels, Ed Sheeran